I'm thinking of doing an all-out 24 hour run as my official last race sometime next year. I keep thinking I might be able to do one last race, as beat-up as I am. I've picked a goal, but I'm not saying what it is just yet.
The field has improved dramatically in the past few years. In 2007, when I thought I had a chance at it, a man could make the US national team with 135 miles. Scott Jurek made the team one year by running the Badwater 135 in under 24 hours! Now it takes 150 miles, which is a significant jump. Three of the six spots are already taken by Jon Olsen, Jon Dennis and Joe Fejes. Mike Morton's US record of 172.45 expires next march for team selection, but he's bound to run 150 again. Serge Arbona has a qualifier of 151 good for next year. Harvey Lewis has a 150.42 good for next year. That's the minimum, then.
Not that I think I have any shot at it! Obviously. I can barely run 6 miles right now.
I looked up what I could find on how these guys train. Not much is available. Joe Fejes, who's gunning for the 6 Day record in August (577.75 miles), has written that he tries to run 8 miles, twice a day, building up from 60 to 90 miles per week. If I did that, I'd be in great shape... to run 8 miles. I need to run long in order to run long. If you check his races, you'll see that he ran a 24 hour race once a month for a while, so those 8 milers aren't indicative of how he really trains. 8 miles in 55-60 minutes, twice a day, however, is about the right number of miles and minutes - just not the distribution I'd look for.
Racing every month does seem to be important to make the team, but only to find the race that has the good weather. Rain or heat will kill mileage totals. Looking at midwestern races, Cornbelt is usually hot, FANS is often hot or rains (or both), the Badgerland is invariably hot. Next closest are the two North Coasts in Ohio. This year it rained in the fall, but Lewis still ran 150. In the spring race, Olsen ran 158.53, Arbona 153.43 and Fejes 147.08... the weather was right.
Late April in Ohio. For a runner here, that means peaking even before spring arrives.
Not that that's something I'm thinking about....
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